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The facility with which the American soldier laid down the implements of war, at the close of the great conflict between the Northern and Southern States, and adapted himself to the pursuits of civil life, has been the wonder of all nations, and scarcely less surprising than gratifying to the American people themselves. While not a few very profound citizens of the republic were speculating as to what was to become of the thousands of men mustered out of the armies, the question was solved by the ex-soldiers themselves, who quietly stepped into the ordinary walks of life, bent the force of circumstances to their will, and became the chief promoters of a national progress which is without parallel in history. Whenever an attempt is made to write the history of a great enterprise or the successful career of any man, it has been found ability, backed by energy and push, has been the basis of it all, and this fact cannot fail to impress itself upon the writer of history proper, or that branch of history which consists of the biographies of those who have achieved sufficient distinction to make the record of their lives of interest to the public. R.B. Weaver is one of those who has become eminent in the affairs of his State, and owes his success in life to his own good fighting qualities. He was born in Maury County, Tennessee, October 9, 1829, the fourth child of Joseph and Juda (May) Weaver, who came to Greene County, Missouri, from Tennessee about 1830, the journey thither being made overland. They settled on a farm about a mile and a half southwest of the public square at Springfield.
On this farm the boyhood days of Mr. Weaver were spent in assisting his father to till the soil and in attending the district schools in the vicinity of his home. At the age of twenty he started out to fight life’s battles for himself, and began dealing in stock; this occupation he has made one of his chief pursuits in life, although his attention has been profitably given to other occupations. He made his home in Greene County, up to February, 1862, residing on a large tract of land in the vicinity of Springfield, then moved with his family to Arkansas and joined the State Guards under Gov. Jackson, with which he remained for one year. In 1863 he enlisted in the Confederate service in the Third Arkansas Regiment of Shelby’s Brigade under Gen. Marmaduke, and took part in the battle of Devall’s Bluff, after which his command was sent to Springfield. He was wounded by a minie-ball while with Price on his raid through Missouri, in 1864, and on the 13th of April, 1865, he surrendered at Jacksonport, Arkansas After the termination of hostilities he came to Boone County, Arkansas, after having spent two years in White County, and here he has ever since made his home. While a resident of Greene County, Missouri, he married Miss Lucy A. Lipscomb, a daughter of one of the early pioneers of Greene County, but she died in 1859, leaving him with three children to care for: Ann Eliza, wife of James Hickerson, M. D., of North Carolina, by whom she has four sons; Felix, a man of a family and a successful farmer of Texas; and Thomas R., who is engaged in farming in Jasper County, MO. Maj.
Weaver’s second marriage was to Miss Cornelia A. Brown, a daughter of W. E. Brown, who is a resident of this county, and she owes her nativity to the State of Tennessee, where she first saw the light of day January 27, 1846. She has borne her husband the following children: Walsie, wife of Robert F. King, of Harrison; Edward S., who is engaged in stock dealing and still makes his home with his parents; Joseph L., also at home; Fannie P., an accomplished young lady of much musical and artistic ability, and Marcus. In 1867 Maj. Weaver located on the farm where he now lives, which consists of 320 acres of fine land, and embarked extensively in stock dealing and farming, making a specialty of the raising of mules, which he ships South, and of horses and cattle for Northern markets. He has been successful in the accumulation of worldly goods, and besides the fine farm on which he lives at Rally Hill, he controls other lands in the county amounting to about 45 acres. His beautiful home is situated about twelve miles southeast of Harrison, and there he and his amiable wife dispense a refined, yet generous hospitality to the many friends who gather beneath their roof tree. He is one of the leading Democrats of the State, and the first office to which he was elected in the State was that of representative to the General Assembly in 1876, to which he was reelected in 1879. In 1881 he was chosen a member of the Senate, serving with ability for two sessions, and in 1885 he was elected to the presidency of the Senate, which office he filled with distinguished ability. In 1889 he was appointed by President Cleveland as one of a committee to negotiate with the Ute Indians in regard to their removal from their reservation in Colorado. His intelligence and ability were again recognized when he was made one of the World’s Fair Directors for the State of Arkansas. To him lies the credit of having selected the fine mineral display during the great Exposition, and one fine piece weighing 12,700 pounds gained a prize. He has always manifested the greatest activity in political matters, and as a legislator he showed that he was not only able but incorruptible, and while serving his section in this capacity he labored earnestly for its interests and helped to advance laws calculated to benefit the State. He is widely known through-out the State, is one of the wealthy citizens of Boone County, and is at all times generous, friendly and open-hearted. Socially he is a member of the Bluff Lodge of the A. F. & A. M. of Newton County, and he and his family are attendants of the Christian Church.